Monetize Your Knowledge with the Perfect Online Course With Stephanie Obi and Lagosmums

monetize your knowledge

Lagosmums

Thank you Stephanie for joining us, I was saying before you came on, that this pandemic has made our lives changed and whether or not we were ready for the virtual economy before, everybody now have to be online and making sure that we are looking for alternative streams of income especially for small businesses. Everyone has to try and figure out how they are going to earn additional money now.

One of the things that I really believe can help us now is the idea of online courses, we are all expertise in something, no matter what, we all know something and we can teach someone else who is willing to learn from us. The good thing about Stephanie is that she breaks the whole idea down into pieces and helps  you understand it well.

I have read her book and she has coached me before and this is why I have invited her to speak to our mums because the mums group is a group that is the most limited when it gets to getting things done, we question ourselves a lot. There is this limiting belief that sits over our shoulders and these are some of the things I believe we will be able to break down today.

Let’s just start with introductions, I’ll allow Stephanie to introduce herself to people who might have never heard of her.

 

Stephanie Obi

My name is Stephanie Obi, I am a tech entrepreneur and I make it very easy for female entrepreneurs to create and sell online courses. That is a brief summary of what I do.

 

Lagosmums 

Can you explain what a tech entrepreneur means, in lay man terms?

 

Stephanie Obi

I’m an entrepreneur but I am in the tech space. One of the things that I do is that I have a tech platform called Trainquarters. Trainquaters allows people to easily host their online schools. When I say platform, it is something like Instagram, Facebook, Airbnb but my own is to help people host their online courses and get paid for it online.

I also have a part of me that is also a coach, where I help people to them create their online courses because many times, they don’t know how to start and so I help them get directed on the right path. 

 

Lagosmums 

Will you say that a lot of people are scared about the idea of technology and why do you think there is that fear of tech especially for women?

 

Stephanie Obi

Yes, there is that fear of technology and this is because, tech makes you feel silly. It makes you feel you don’t know anything, when I new tech platform comes out, for instance, Ticktok, there is that fear of learning a new thing especially with all the things that you have to do. If you are a very busy person, juggling a lot of things, to sit down to learn a new thing is not really what you want to do.

Also, many of the tech platforms that we have today have not been built by women and so it feels too masculine, it’s not colorful and because of the fact that we have grown up to believe that tech is hard and tech is for men, this has stirred young women from aspiring to be tech entrepreneurs.

However, what I have realized is that because guys have been the ones doing technical stuffs, the tech solutions that women should create has still not been created because we have our own ways of looking at things and doing things and that is the value that we bring to the ecosystem. I would like to encourage anyone here who has the interest in doing tech to please go for it, also encourage your children especially the girls to explore the tech world, it is a huge opportunity for them.

 

Lagosmums 

Did you grow up in the tech space, is your background tech?

 

Stephanie Obi

Interestingly, it is and I will tell you how I got it. I thought I was going to be a lawyer because my mum is a lawyer and she is my number one mentor because I grew up watching her and so I thought I was going be a lawyer too. However, when I was a teenager, she brought a computer home for us and we started using it and I developed an interest in computers.

This made me do a sort of internship in a cyber café the year before I got into the University, and that was how I started learning about computer engineering, computer science and the different areas with computers. This resulted into my decision to study computer science in school. I was a child that could do anything and so I was doing well in both art and science field of study, and so I wasn’t really boxed in one place. 

I went to study computer science and I actually ended up graduating with a first class in computer science but I didn’t like it, because I felt like it was so boring and even though I was very good at it, I didn’t want to be doing it for the rest of my life.

In my second year in the university, I had started an Accessories business, I love craft and so I could make earrings, hair bands, hand bands with ankara, my mother really encouraged me when I wanted to join a jewelry making class and that was how I was able to learn and start a business out of it. All through my university years, my NYSC year, all through my first job, even when I went to business school, I was still doing the accessories business, when I got my second job, I was still doing the accessories business and so it had become a big part of my life. I did accessories business for 10years.

I was running away from too much tech work and I really adored the accessories part of my life and I wanted to go into business. I had done accessories business for ten years and it had made me money and so I now wanted to teach other people how to run an accessories business.

I did my first class but nobody showed up, it was a huge disappointment. It was a physical class that I did in my garage at home, everybody in my family made it such a big deal, we cleaned everywhere and polished it up but nobody came, I cried a lot because it was a really big disappointment.

However, I went for an event around that time and there was a speaker, who came to talk about how many times he had failed and how he has picked himself up. A lot of people criticize all these motivational speakers but at a point in life, everybody needs a pick up and this speaker’s story was what picked me up and so I went back and decided to learn marketing. Initially I thought Facebook and Twitter were just a short term thing that would die down but they didn’t and so I thought to myself that I had better learn how they work to market my workshop.

That was how I started learning about Facebook marketing, and that helped me to start getting customers, I got my first three customers and as I kept on marketing, I started getting requests from people in other states and that was how I decided to launch an online course.

It is interesting because I was not the only accessories designer that time, there were a number of people creating workshops but because I had a technical background, the way I could think about a solution was a techy solution. I started thinking about the prospect of an online course and then an online school and before I knew it, I had an online school, I created an online course and I started selling it. It was an experiment, I wasn’t sure if it would work, I wasn’t sure if people would pay for data because data was very expensive then. However I tried it and it sold and that was how I got back into tech. 

 

Lagosmums

I did a webinar today about understanding your parenting styles and I said when you are raising kids, you have to teach them with the knowledge that failure is feedback and not the end of the world. No matter what happens, you can keep trying again and if it doesn’t work, you can try something else and so I love that Stephanie shared that part about how she failed at first.

A lot of people think people are overnight success but the truth is it is a journey, take Stephanie for example, people who see her will think she arrived overnight but then, there were twists and turns but she didn’t give up, she kept coming back to what she was passionate about.

My next question is, how can somebody identify what they can teach, how can they go about it? If you can give us about 3-5 tips, people here can take away to implement so that we can start our own journey of launching online courses.

 

Stephanie Obi 

Let’s start with the first question, how to identify what you can teach, I’m going to be reading from my book “Knowledge is the New Gold.” In chapter 3, we talked about how to find what you can teach. I must explain this, we all have this challenge where we take what we know for granted, especially women, we believe it’s not a big deal. Many times, they are giving us compliments about something we did and maybe because we feel a kind of way about getting compliments, we just brush it off.

The way God has created us, the things that come to you easily, doesn’t come to another person easily. If you ask Sinach to come and sing now, she will sing so well that she can bring the room down but if we ask you to come and sing, you can’t bring anything down because it is not your strength. We must all recognize that all of us have our own strength. If you don’t know what your strengths are, I’m going to ask a few questions to help you point them out.

  1. What results have you achieved?

Whatever it is that you have achieved, no matter how small. In my own case, I can say I made a first class, how did I do it? I didn’t just automatically get it, there was a system I used. Everything that you have achieved in your life, you did some work. Those achievements, as small as you think they are, they are achievements, write it down.

The mistake that a lot of people make is that they compare themselves to other people and this is so unfair, it’s just like saying you want to compare yourself to me, it’s so unfair. I started this my online course journey since 2012, why should you compare yourself to me? You are not being fair to yourself. Many times, people compare themselves to be who are ahead of them, as much as possible, if you have achieved anything, don’t compare yourself to anybody.

I’m going to make an illustration, you are at a particular point now, let’s call it Step B, there is a Step A, which is Step Zero for people who have not achieved anything and there is Step C where is where you are trying to get to, where those mentors you look up to are. You that you are in Step B, you can help someone who is in Step A, get to Step B. You will see that there are people who don’t know half the things that you know, they don’t even know where to start from, let’s say you organize children parties and it always so nice, everybody loves attending your parties, as simple as it is, you can teach it “How to plan DIY parties for your children” there are so many things you are doing with training your children that people admire.

You think that because it is simple, nobody wants to learn it, I have a client who teaches people how to stop shouting and people actually pay for her online course. The first time she launched it, she earned $1490, from teaching parents how to stop shouting. There are so many things that you are doing, that you don’t even realize that they are results that you have.

  1. What questions do people always ask you?

This is a clue, sometimes we don’t actually see how amazing we are, we don’t appreciate how far we have been able to come. We are are looking at the next thing but there are people who look at you and admire all the things you have done, even to the most little things like how you arrange your house. I have a friend who relocated from Portharcourt to Lagos, when she got to Lagos, she didn’t have any friends, she was always bored at home without knowing what to do.

At a point, she just started decorating candles, she will go to the market, buy candles and start to decorate them. Today, she now teaches people how to make candles, the boredom turned a learning process for her, she would go to the market to buy candles to decorate, from there she started buying wax and learning how to make the candles and before you know it, people started asking her how she makes them. That was how she started the candle training business.

    2. What painful experience have you overcome?

Lets say you tried getting a job for years but you couldn’t and now you have a job. There is something you learnt during that process, you can teach it. Let’s say when you went to have a baby, you left the corporate world for a while and when you decided to come back, it wasn’t easy for but you eventually made it through, you can teach people how you were able to make it through. Any tough experience you have been through, when you come out of it, you can teach it. For me, I started talking about how nobody came for my first workshop, I was so embarrassed and sad but guess what, today that is what my business is based on. The fact the I wanted to impact lives but then nobody paid for it, is what I have built an entire empire on.

Whatever pain you go through, God is there with you and He is allowing you to go through that pain for a reason. The Bible says “I will not give you any temptation that you can not withstand” because something will always come out of that temptation. It also says further that “though you pass through the valley of the shadow of death, I am there with you” In that period, God will start teaching you things, those things are things you can package and monetize. If you look at all these most of the books we read, it is out of a negative experience that they wrote them from but then a book is not the only thing you can write, you can create an online course too. 

        3. What exciting goal have you achieved?

Something that when you achieved it, you were so happy about it. You can teach it as a topic, was it how you ran a marathon and won, or how you planned a successful conference or an event, you can teach it. These things take efforts, they are people who are looking at you and are awed by how you do what you do. I have a client who used to be an housewife, she just use to sit around and talk about all sort of things with her fellow housewives.

One day, one of her friends died and that incident stirred her up to do something with her life. She woke up and started a crèche. Today, that crèche has grown into a primary school and a secondary school. Those her fellow housewives are now looking at her and wondering how she has been able to do everything on her own.

Any exciting goal you have achieved, there are so many people in your network who see you and admire you and would like to learn from you how you have been able to achieve it. I have people who used to work with me when I was working for a multinational company and they are coming to learn from me now.

They have seen me grown from scratch and they want to learn how I did it. You will be amazed at the number of people you have been able to inspire. When you come out to launch your online course, you will find out that there are different categories of people. Many times we assume a lot about what people will say about us, the truth is there will always be that category of people who will criticize us, but then, there will also be a category of people who will appreciate it and be grateful for what you are doing. 

What has helped me deal with this issue is that, I am not Jesus Christ, it is only Jesus Christ that was sent to save the whole world, I am not sent to save the whole world, I am sent to save some particular set of people. If I come live and only one person hears my message, it is fine, I will continue like that and little by little, my congregation will grow. I look at the issue from a church angle, I went to Covenant University and Bishop Oyedepo used to tell us that there was a time when the congregation will sit down, one person to one whole bench.

If you stay consistent, you will grow, which is why I say stop comparing yourself to other people, it’s so unfair. I started growing my own community since 2012, and you want to start comparing yourself with me, why? Just keep growing your own, it will definitely grow and you will attract your own crowd. 

In terms of most unusual online course topic, somebody sent something to me and I couldn’t understand it yet because I haven’t had a baby. It is for those who have had a baby and are worried about getting their pelvic floor back. It was an online course about getting your pelvic floor back or something and a lot of people paid for it, I was amazed.

However, this is why they are paying for it; an online course is not just for the sake of sharing information. When you create an online course, you are solving a problem, and you can solve that problem in form of a workshop, a webinar, a book or an online course, any method. Why we decide to solve a problem in form of an online course is so that people from other countries can benefit from it.

Your message is for people all over the world, it is not for only those within your county and when you create an online course, you are able to reach those people all over the world. It just happens to be that they are paying in foreign currency and that’s amazing, however, the real essence is so that you can reach out to people all over the world without having to travel physically all the time. The beauty of it is that, apart from the impact you will make and the testimonies you will get from people, you will also earn an income from it.

There are some hot topics and there are some topics that are not hot. Money is a hot topic, relationship is a hot topic, health is a hot topic and so if you are teaching about making money, about relationships, about anything health, you are supposed to make a lot of money.

However, if I come and teach about parenting, it is going to be very difficult for me to make any money from it because I have no proof, no credibility. I am just coming from nowhere, a lot of people preach that it is okay to go and do research, read it online and then come back to teach about it.

However, I have a different opinion, I believe that if you haven’t experienced anything, you have no business teaching it because you will be teaching from a shallow point of view. I have seen this trend in the market, and I have seen somebody who was telling me he launched an online course on drop shipping and so I asked him “have you ever done drop shipping?” he said “No” and so I asked him why he was teaching it, he said he learnt it from somebody, who has also not done it and he felt like if that person can make money from it, he can also do it.

They come out online and make themselves look like the real deal and this style is so rampant. The reason why it is so rampant is because people have a problem and because the credible people who have actually done the drop shipping are to busy, people who have no business with drop shipping decided to create it.

People are falling for scams and this is the problem now. If you come out now online, the biggest challenge you will have is proving to people that you are not a scam and you have to show credibility. If you don’t prove to people that you can done this and you can talk about it, people will compare you to those scammers.

The reason why I share my numbers is because I don’t want you to think that I am a scam, because people believe that everybody doing online course is a scam but it’s not true, not everybody is a scam. However, people have to experience you before their mindset can change.

Some people come to try me, they can afford to pay in full for my program but they pay in installments to try me out, to test if I am a scam or not. This is because they have been burnt and so when they work with me for a while, they now have a change of mind and a new experience.

 

Lagosmums

I love that, because I believe in doing things that people see as a service, so you are saying that online courses itself is like service, you are making impact, helping other people solve a problem that you went through, offering solutions to people out there who have gone through the exact same thing as you. 

My next question is on personal branding. 

 

Stephanie Obi 

When you say you have achieved something, and you can point at things that makes you credible, all those things add to your brand. No matter how tough parenting becomes, or health, you are not going to see me just jump into it like that. When you decide to come out with a personal brand, you decide what you want to be known for.

For me, I decided that I want to be known for online courses and I stayed there, because I have been consistent about it, when people say online courses, my name comes up. What causes my name to come up is consistency. That consistent messaging is what helps you build a brand and not everybody understands it. 

A brand is somebody who is known for something, if they say something, your name must come up. That’s what a personal brand is. When you start creating online courses, you must still be known for something. The mistake I made earlier and I see a lot of people making that mistake now is that I was always hopping from one thing to another. 

I felt that I had to teach everything that I knew, the challenge with that is that you don’t have a brand, you will be creating products that will not be as profitable as when you have a brand. Branding is huge, if you have a brand, you can command higher prices because you have a brand. It’s like a Gucci bag and a Black unnamed bag, fundamentally, a bag is a bag and they are both performing the same function, but people want the designer bag and so they will save for it to be able to afford it.

It is the same way you are a personal brand and you can make your brand something that people aspire to be associated with. It’s not by doing everything, you must pick your area of specialty and stay there. It is hard but do it, the end result is that you become a specialist and people pay more for specialists.

Another mistake I made was that because I was launching all these small small online courses,I will launch a course of N2k and then do a lot of marketing, the highest number of sales I get is 100, N2000 x 100 is N200k, have I made money? Yes, is it enough? No. It’s not enough to cover my cost, I have to pay for data, for video hosting and a number of things.

If you are creating courses that can not cover the cost of your business, then it is not profitable. All these personal branding and hosting profitable online courses are both aligned. What I’m emphasizing is that instead of creating low-end courses, create a perfect online course. A perfect online course is a course that you can resell over and over again, you create it once and you just keep reselling it. Instead of creating so many courses, you focus your energy on just that one online course.

After I went from course to course, in 2016, I decided to stop and just create one online course and then focus on it. That one online course has earned me over $280k now and I’m still selling that course till today. What I’m preaching now is define your brand, create one online course and keep reselling it. 

 

Lagosmums

As a new person in the business without numbers, how do you prove that you are not a scam?

 

Stephanie Obi 

First and foremost, you have to start small, the first time you launch an online course, let’s say you get 10 people, start with those 10, tell their stories, showcase them. My first online course was priced at $299 dollars when I first launched it, one person came on my program, she launched an online course and she earned $13k, she paid $299 and earned $13k after she launched her first online course.

She does so many things now but the first time she launched her brand without a lot of followers, she earned $13k. For me, my work is to tell those testimonies, you will have your star customers who will give you testimonies and you can talk about their stories over and over again and that goes a long way in helping you to build trust. 

Lagosmum

I have a flare for teaching etiquette but I don’t know if it is sellable, from talking to individuals, I get questions like what is the return on investment in etiquette training?

I think we can use this question to cover those people who think they have a particular topic that people won’t pay for. Let me use myself as an example, one of the delays I have had in launching an online course is the fact that I wonder if people would pay for anything in parenting. Isn’t parenting something that we should just know how to do. Can you use this example to answer that question?

 

Stephanie Obi 

Here is the thing about launching online courses, you don’t know if people will pay for it or not, there is no way you will know. Until people pay for your course, you will never know. I have a system of helping people sell their online course before they create it. If you try to sell your online course and nobody pays for it, it is feedback not failure. You go back and pivot, that is how I teach people how to launch online course.

I don’t teach people to create the videos first and now go and start looking for customers. My own is design the course, look for customers, sell it, when they buy it, you then sit down to create the contents. For me, my biggest motivation is if someone has paid me, if nobody has paid me, I just keep on testing but once I have been paid, I create a schedule and I’m disciplined in creating the course.

Once I create the course, I then just focus on marketing and gaining money from it consistently. I must also add that, there is a system I follow to do all these things I just explained to you, it’s not something I do out of the blues, there is a framework I follow. This is why I want to encourage everyone to sign up for the Knowledge is the New Gold Challenge, and in 30 days, we can help you to create and sell your perfect online course. 

The reason why I started using the method I use is that I have had instances where I would suffer creating online course, creating videos and then nobody wants it. This is why before I do the videos, I sell it, when I get the payment, then I go and do the work.

As a matter of fact, in my level now, if I haven’t gotten N1million, I don’t move. When I get N1million, I tend begin to see the course as a valuable solution that people are willing to pay for, for someone to pay for a product even before they see it content, it means that, that idea is a  valuable solution and you should create it. 

A lot of people have negative views on marketing, however, marketing is something we do out of love. Imagine you had a vaccine against Covid19, and you decide to sit down in your house and not bring out the solution, allowing people to keep dying.

That’s is wickedness and so there is somebody out there who is having issues and you have a solution because you have been through that challenge, you have learnt how to navigate through that challenge and you are not saying you don’t want to help another person through their own challenge, it is wickedness.

However, if we come from a place of love and that is why I’m always so passionate about marketing, there are many things I can do to make money, I can decide today that I want to go and work for somebody as a consultant and I decide not to do this online course again, I will get a great job.

However, the reason why I come out to do this is that, look at this pandemic for instance, I’m just wondering how some many business have been on lock down without making any money for the past 4 weeks, some business have ended already and they don’t even know yet.

This lock down has affected people over and over again and so if you don’t pivot and create a product that you can sell online, you are going to be broke and when you get broke, the big picture is that you won’t be able to cater for yourself and your family. I don’t want this to happen to people and so that is why I’m so passionate about my message. You can innovate, you can pivot, you can create something new. 

I’m very clear about this and I say it all the time, I am not Jesus Christ and because I am not Jesus Christ, I am not sent to everybody. My message is clearly for people that want to teach. I’m very clear that I am supposed to be speaking to people who have the urge to teach but are sabotaging themselves and questioning their worth. My message is for a particular set of people who have gotten the call and the urge to impact lives but they don’t know how to start. Those people know themselves and they understand what I am talking about. 

 

Lagosmums

It is important that people realize that not every message is for them. There are a million messages you can be listening to that are for you. There are people here who really appreciate this conversation because it is resonating with them. 

I’ll like Stephanie to tell us the next step to take now that we have realized that there is something we know, there are challenges we have overcome and now, we are ready to help other people. However we need to know what next to do to go about this journey.

 

Stephanie Obi 

If you are ready to start, just start anyway you can. You can start with doing IG live series to teach something you know, stop overthinking it, just start. It is only when you start that you can actually know, the easiest way to start is to just start. When you start, a number of things can discourage you and that is why I will say, start with prayer. Then you can open a WhatsApp group or do a IG live Session.

What I am trying to say is that if you feel like starting, find the smallest way to start because as you start, you will get feedback from your tribe. That way, you will know that you are on the right path. It doesn’t matter if you fail or people don’t respond to you well, even if it is just your family giving you moral support, just start. 

The way you start is not the way you will end, how I started was by doing a workshop that nobody attended, now look at me. I have a friend who I shared the idea with and I designed the workshop with her but she only helped me design the workshop, I went on the journey myself and nobody showed up before I now decided to learn marketing and develop myself. You will go a lot way, if you start taking it one step at a time, if God can show you what you will become, you will be so overwhelmed about it.

The best way to start is just to start doing something. You will figure it out on the journey, through research, through IG Live Streams, through watching videos online, through taking an online course, through going for a coaching program, you will figure things out differently, you can’t just keep holding on to your idea year in, year out without starting.

 

Lagosmums

What Stephanie is trying to say is that you must be a lifelong learner, open to opportunities because opportunities come in different ways. One thing I started doing a lot time ago is that I started listening to podcasts and then, I had a whole house full of mentors. 

How can someone get coached by you?

 

Stephanie Obi

The easiest way to way to work with me is through my challenge, Knowledge is the New Gold Challenge, it is a 30 days program where you can create and launch your online course in 30days. This is the easiest way, I have one on one coaching packages, depending on the kind of support you need, we have different kind of packages.

However, if you are just starting and you are looking for a pocket friendly budget, you can try Knowledge is the New Gold Challenge. It is a group program, and it is going to be filled with so much energy. You are going to be among a group of people launching their online course in 30 days.

If you are wondering that everybody is launching online courses, the truth is we haven’t even started, if you look at platforms like Udemy, you will see hundreds of thousands of courses and they are all selling. In this market, we don’t have up to a thousand of courses.

Meanwhile, Africa alone, is a billion people market and you can sell outside Africa. The opportunities are huge and Covid 19 just opened up a huge portal for us. You can either see Covid 19 as a problem or as a blessing in disguise, I’m now in a position where I’m saying thank God it happened. Your case can also be like that, we have amazing projects that started during negative events like this and they are doing amazingly well. They converted a tough situation into an opportunity and you can do it too. 

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